What is the difference between a righteous man and a good man??

Discussion in 'Exegetical Forum' started by Idelette, Apr 11, 2009.

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  1. Idelette

    Idelette Puritan Board Graduate

    I'm just curious why the Scriptures make a distinction between a righteous man and a good man in this passage? Why would the righteous man be considered not good enough to die for, and yet for a "good" man perhaps one would??

    "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." -Romans 5:6-8
     
  2. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    Perhaps, like (I believe) the term "righteous" is used in other places, it refers to someone who is trying to be righteous according to the law(e.g., the Pharisees), whereas a "good man" would be someone who is trying not so much to be good, but to love his neighbor and obey the spirit of the law rather than the letter?
     
  3. Idelette

    Idelette Puritan Board Graduate

    Thanks for your input.....I just wondered because when the OT speaks of a righteous man it really is referring to a man that fears the Lord! We see that especially in the Psalms time and time again. I actually looked up what Calvin said regarding this passage:

    "For a just man, etc. The meaning of the passage has constrained me to render the particle ga<r as an affirmative or declarative rather than as a causative. The import of the sentence is this, "Most rare, indeed, is such an example to be found among men, that one dies for a just man, though this may sometimes happen: but let this be granted, yet for an ungodly man none will be found willing to die: this is what Christ has done." 3 Thus it is an illustration, derived from a comparison; for such an example of kindness, as Christ has exhibited towards us, does not exist among men."
     
  4. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    A righteous man is righteous for himself, a law abiding citizen who does no one any harm. The good man's goodness is communicative, and is seen as beneficial to the society of men. Scarcely would one die in the place of a righteous man who is unjustly condemned to death. Some would dare to die for a good man, e.g., a soldier might die to protect his commanding officer, seeing his own life as worth less on the battle field. Sinners, OTOH, are neither unjustly condemned nor of any benefit to anybody. Calvin correctly relays the magnitude of the love of God when he notes that the action of kindness which God has undertaken on behalf of sinners in Christ "does not exist among men;" it has no parallel in human relationships.
     
  5. Idelette

    Idelette Puritan Board Graduate

    Ah, that makes perfect sense now....Thank you very much!
     
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